Jepsen joins effort to protect transgender service members

Attorney General George Jepsen

Two days after President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed in the military, 19 attorneys general, including Connecticut’s George Jepsen, publicly opposed the ban with a letter to the Senate and House Armed Services committees.

“Discrimination of any kind has no place in our society,” Jepsen said in a statement. “Transgender men and women who want to serve should be afforded the same opportunities to do so as any other American, and those who are already serving deserve our respect and our gratitude for their service.

“This ban is inherently wrong and based on untruths and falsehoods, and I’m proud to stand in support of the transgender community on this and on any other policy that is contrary to the principles of opportunity and equality,” Jepsen said.

The letter from the attorneys general urged the Armed Services committee to “protect transgender service members through the National Defense Authorization Act.”

An amendment to that bill that would have blocked the use of tax dollars to pay for sex-reassignment surgeries and hormone treatment for transgender military personnel, which was under discussion at the time of Trump’s announcement, failed to pass in Congress this week.

Despite the tweet, there has yet to be any formal order from the White House and therefore no change in military policies.

The coalition of attorneys general was led by Hawaii’s Doug Chin, who said Trump’s ban has no place in this century.

“The policy announced by President Trump’s tweet undermines the national security goal of giving every able American who wants to serve in the military the opportunity to serve, creates untold bureaucratic and legal cost and complexities in implementation, and would put in place a policy that violates fundamental constitutional American values,” Chin said.

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